If you’re looking for a truly unique Christmas market experience, and especially if you like trying beer when you travel, you should put the Kreuzberg Monastery on your Christmas must-see list. Their Christmas market, called the Adventsmarkt im Kloster Kreuzberg, is only held for one weekend each year, so don’t miss it!
We found out about Kloster Kreuzberg from friends, neighbors, and coworkers when we lived in Wiesbaden. Apparently, a trek to the monastery is something of a generational touchstone: several generations of American military who’ve been stationed in the area will remember going up the 1,000-meter mountain to bring home a growler full of monk’s beer!
When friends of ours visited from the US that year, we took them along to cross Kreuzberg off of our German bucket list.
The monastery was built in the late 1600s, and there are German-language worship services in the chapel there every week. Since 1731, the monastery has run its own brewery. Its specialty? A rich, dark Klosterbier that my husband and I loved.
There’s a restaurant on site, and in nice weather, you can enjoy your food and beer in an outdoor Biergarten. If all of that’s not enough, the Kloster Kreuzberg even offers on-site accommodations at surprisingly inexpensive prices. There are single, double, and triple rooms in the Monastery Guesthouse with a total of 120 beds on the property. 70 more rooms are available with shared bathrooms starting a just €22,50 per night.
The monastery itself sits on top of a beautiful mountain that’s near a national park. From what I’ve been able to read online, it sounds like there’s cross-country skiing, a luge, and hiking trails immediately surrounding the monastery, so if you don’t make it for the Christmas Market, there’s still plenty to do.
When we visited, the weather was cold but dry in Wiesbaden. By the time we reached the parking area a few hundred meters downhill of the monastery, the roads were icy and slick. The sky was gray, and we had a dreary, cold snow throughout the day. We weren’t able to see much by way of views from the mountain because of the weather, but we really did enjoy the market.
The Kloster Kreuzberg Christmas Market
The Christmas market at Kloster Kreuzberg is packed into just a few rooms. Each room was filled with tables of hand-crafted gifts and Christmas decor. There were wreaths, wooden tree figurines, teddy bears, scarves and gloves, and ceramics for sale.
Because it was so tight inside the market, I didn’t even try to take pictures. It was simply too crowded. We did find a few Christmas decorations for our house and we loved that most of the items for sale were made my artisans (not imported from China, like the items at some of the larger markets). Here are the wooden trees we bought:
During the market, you can try Kreuzberg’s famous beer. They’ll serve it to you in a big ceramic mug, which you can take with you through the market. When you return it, you’ll get a Pfand (refund) back, and if you want to keep it you can. If you like the beer as much as we did, you can buy an entire growler full of it. Our growler is one of our favorite travel keepsakes so far from our two-and-a-half years here.
How to Get to Kloster Kreuzberg
Kloster Kreuzberg’s address is:
Franziskaner Klosterbetriebe GmbH
There is free parking available near the top of the mountain. Be prepared to walk another couple of hundred meters on a relatively steep hill from the parking area to the monastery. In winter weather, you should also be prepared for the likelihood that the roads might be slippery.
A Caution Regarding Strollers
Strollers might be difficult at Kloster Kreuzberg. I remember climbing a long flight of steps to reach the restaurant from the market area, and the market was crowded enough that it would have been challenging to fit a stroller. We didn’t have kids yet when we visited, though, so if you’ve been to the Kloster Kreuzberg Christmas market with a stroller, I hope you’ll consider leaving a coment to help other travelers know how your experience was!